Summary: How to Grow in Faith
How to Grow in Faith
What we get out of life is determined by our choices.
Illustration: Sometimes fear of punishment motivates better than anything else. One mother decided she would put the fear of a speeding ticket in the speeding drivers going past a local elementary school. Every morning she would park her car in front of the elementary school and point her black hair dryer - shaped like a radar gun, out of the window at speeding cars. The effect was dramatic as drivers slowed down fearing they might receive a speeding ticket. Fear the Lord you His saints, for to those who fear Him there is no want. The young lions lack and suffer hunger but they who seek the Lord will lack no good thing.
In 2 Pet 1:3-8 we are told Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him who calls us by His own glory and excellence for by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises in order that we might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped corruption that is in the world by lust.
We can either appropriate His promises by faith and become more like Christ or allow ourselves to experience a life of frustration with self-destructive choices.
How can we choose to grow in faith instead of being overcome by frustrations?
Faith comes from greek work that means (1) a firm conviction, producing a full acknowledgement of God’s revelation or truth, e.g., 2 Thess. 2:11,12; (2) a personal surrender to Him, John 1:12; (3) a conduct inspired by such surrender, 2 Cor. 5:7.
Faith is the confident persuasion that God will do what He says He will do and acting on that conviction
Faith is the evidence of things not seen the assurance of things hope for.
Why do so many Christians fail to consistently make wise choices that allow them to grow up in all aspects into Christ? Why do so many believers struggle with sadness, fear and overcoming their difficulties. When a warning light appears on our dashboard we take it to a mechanic to diagnose the problem and have it repaired before something worse happens to the engine. But many people drive on in life ignoring the warnings that God gives them through His Spirit without making the proper adjustments. Paul said, “Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (We need to cooperate with other members of the body of Christ to experience the fullness of Christ and greater maturity in our faith. Do not try to mature in isolation of members of the body of Christ – your faith development will be incomplete) Speaking the truth in love let us grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head even Christ so that
"Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations. Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was good as dead. Yet, he did not waver through unbelief regarding God’s promise, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised." (Romans 4:18-21)
Today, Abraham is regarded as the father of faith. When all hope, as a human possibility, failed, Abraham placed his hope in God. Sure, Abraham had some anxious moments, but God did not count these against him. Abraham did not refuse to face reality. He chose to look beyond his difficulties to the Lord and His promises. Let us look at eight stages of maturity in faith and their alternative eight stages of frustration:
Let’s have the kind of faith Jesus challenged us to have. John 14:12-14 – He who believes in Me, the works that I do will He do also and greater works than these will He do because I go to the Father and You can ask anything in my name and I will do it.
8 Stages of Faith - 8 Stages of Frustration
1. Basic Trust - A firm belief in the reliability of God and the truth of His word. Just as a child learns to implicitly trust its mother, so a young Christian relies on the Lord for its spiritual leading, feeding and protection.
A. I Pet 2:2 – As new born babes desire the sincere milk of the word that they can grow thereby.”
1. Suspicion - A doubt that God or others care about one’s best interests. One who inclined to doubt the genuineness of others’ motives. We live in a post-modern age that is characterized by cynicism and skepticism. Do not give into these tendencies.